For most of us, shoe shopping can be an overwhelming experience. There are an endless variety of styles – from casual to dressy, supportive to minimalist – and an array of features, so if you’re feeling a little confused by it all, we certainly understand.

Here are our top tips for finding and buying the perfect pair of shoes to maximize your comfort and foot health:

Do consider your needs. 

With so many styles available, shoe shopping can be overwhelming. Before you start shopping, make a quick mental list of what you need your footwear to do for you. If you need something supportive, make a note of that. If you’re looking for something to help with your severe overpronation, make that a priority. This way, you can quickly narrow down the options while ensuring you get the shoes you need. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to shoe technology or our foot conditions page for help.

Don’t let style dictate which shoes you buy. 

It’s tempting to simply browse through shoe styles and pick out the pair that you think looks the best. And for most people, that’s exactly what they do. But prioritizing looks over your foot health can be a painful mistake, as improper footwear can lead to leg, knee, hip and lower back pain.

Do try on your shoes and wear them on a short walk. 

Most people try on a pair of shoes to check the fit before they make a purchase, but we would advise you take that one step further: take them out for a short walk or run. While it may take about a week for your shoes to fully break in once you start wearing them, you can get a good since for how they fit right away.

We understand the importance of getting a feel for a pair of shoes before you commit to them, which is why we’re proud to offer a 30-day, hassle-free return policy on all of our shoes.

Don’t obsess over finding the lowest price.

There are certain things that you can absolutely go cheap with. For example, a solid case could be made for buying store-brand paper towels over the more expensive name brand ones. But shoes are not one of those things, and most often, you’ll get what you pay for.

When you purchase a pair of Apex shoes, you’re getting a pair of shoes that have been designed by a team of doctors, foot specialists and shoe experts. It also means that you’re not just getting a super-comfy and supportive pair of shoes, you’re getting a pair of shoes that have been designed specifically to alleviate foot pain and help you feel better.

Do consider all aspects of shoe sizing.

When most people think of shoe size, they usually only think of the number that denotes the length of the shoe. But that’s only one dimension, and the foot is three-dimensional object. So, even though you may wear a size 9.5, that number isn’t going to account for the width or depth of your foot. We recommend measuring your feet with our nifty sizing chart to help make sure you get the right fit.

Don’t celebrate an anniversary with your shoes.

All shoes, believe it or not, have an expiration date. At around 300-500 miles of walking or running, they’ll start losing their ability to absorb shock and provide support. Depending on your activity level, you could hit this milestone in as few as four to six months. 

A good way to know when you should replace your shoes is by looking at the soles of the shoe: if the tread pattern is worn down and you have "bald spots," it's time to buy new shoes. In addition, wrinkles or creases in the sides of the sole indicate that the cushioning and support of the sole is breaking down. Continuing to wear worn-out shoes can lead to painful conditions like plantar fasciitis or shin splints.

Do buy shoes for a specific purpose or activity.

One of the best ways to get the most mileage out of your shoes is to buy them for a specific purpose and to use them only for that purpose. If you’re looking to purchase a pair of shoes to wear while exercising, for example, you should only wear them to exercise in and avoid wearing them as your casual, day-to-day shoes.

Shop now at ApexFoot.com for great deals on comfortable, supportive footwear.